Schneider

We had nothing but rags
Bags of old costumes
Piled in the corner
Of a dusty room
Discarded scraps
Of forgotten dreams
So I taught myself to sew
Building a tapestry
Of my patchwork life
Knees folded on the
Chilly bathroom floor
Its cracked blue lino
Like ocean waves
The tattered curtain
Tucked up over the rail
Learning to navigate
By feel and intuition
As I frowned
Squinting at my needle
Trying to get the thread
Through a tiny hole
In the mushroom-coloured dusk
At the awkward age
Of thirteen years and one month
I wore them out
My colourful creations
And people stared
Admiring and mocking
In equal amounts
When I grew
Good enough
That you could see
Design in my skilful
Manipulation
Of throw-away stuffs
I sold some
For coin, or bartered favours
Tailors can be born
And they can be made
I took commissions
If you could describe it
The perfect dress
I could draw it in my head
Then threading your dream
Through my careful fingers
Seam by seam
I could make it
Come alive

Out of Place

I suppose there’s nothing wrong with it
But personally it threw me
I even felt a little uncomfortable
Yes, even I – yours truly

Catching the unexpected sight
That lay betwixt my legs
With knickers heading ankleward
And sleep still in my head

A paperclip in a bowl of white
When you’ve been dreaming half the night
Perhaps in itself not so strange a sight
But staring up at me, not right

The world had lost what sanity
Remained to it – insanitary
Metal curves glinted through the blue-tinted
Water in the bottom of the lavatory.

Now how the hell did that get there?
All sorts of scenarios floated through
The sudden space between my ears
As I gazed in wonderment, sans clue

Out of place as an office tool
In the Monday morning, air-conditioned
Chill of a corporate bathroom stall
At odds with surroundings can be positioned.

A mundane mystery, unmoved here
It can’t be shifted by the flush
Of a girl in a hurry to embrace the pure
Delights of the kitchenette thermos flask

Filled with a mud-like java ooze
And the plastic snap-tub biscuit tin
In individual wrappers snooze
The office worker’s breakfast sin

Bought to bolster her resolve
To tackle the horrors yet in store
With an ever-abundant inbox, filled
Overflowing with weekend’s weighty chore

To help unravel the tangled threads
Of under-worded communications
By those whose double shift’s preparation
For the stats release to the waiting nation.

So what to do with this sad item
Displaced object, much abused
With little now to recommend it
Be retrieved and so, reused…

Poor Clippy, sadly suicidal
Jumped the rim and sank his shame
At such clear speech – misinformation
Too few letters to his name

Made redundant since the Nineties’
Macro software eased our pain
Now enshrined in more than pixels
From his ignominy, fame.